The iPhone is a wonderful portable traveling companion and a marvelous asset for all service professionals, including accountants.
Here’s a list of apps that help traveling accountants keep organized and make doing business easier when they reach their destinations.
Best of all, they’re all free.
- Trip Tracker – A fully automated application that keeps track of your travel itineraries with minimal set-up. All you have to do is register your frequent flier and hotel rewards numbers on the site and your complete itinerary will automatically be displayed in the program. The app will alert you to status changes as they occur.
- GateMaps – This is a brand new app, but once it’s fully developed it’s going to be really amazing. The application currently supports only five major hubs: Atlanta (ATL), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), John F. Kennedy (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX), and Miami International (MIA). As the app is developed more airports will be added.
- Skype – You probably already use Skype on your PC or laptop, but they also have a great mobile app. If you’re an international traveler who likes to pinch pennies this is a great app for you. Call Skype-to-Skype for no charge over Wi-Fi, or use the built-in instant messaging feature. As of summer 2010, Skype has started charging for using the app with 3G.
- Yelp – If you’re new in town and looking for a place to eat, this application provides user-reviewed restaurants, bars, and shops.
- Unit Conversion – ï»¿This handy app is a must for the international traveler. It provides up-to-date currency conversions on demand.
- Taxi Magic – This is my personal favorite. You push a button and a cab magically appears. Just input where you want the cab to pick you up and you’re all set. You don’t even need to make a phone call. Taxi Magic coordinates with the local taxi dispatch services to find the closest to your location. You can even monitor the cab’s progress via GPS. This application is available in most major cities in the United States.
- Bump – This is a very interesting little app. All you need to do is hold two phones next to one another and it swaps their contact information. No more fumbling for business cards or worrying about forgetting your pen.
- Expensify – Eliminate the burden of lugging all your receipts from your trip around with you with Expensify. It keeps track of your expenses as you go. When you’re ready it compiles them into a single IRS-friendly report. One of this app’s major selling points is the ease of uploading information: all you have to do is take a picture of the receipt with your phone’s camera!
- HopStop – This app turns your iPhone into a public-transportation-sensitive GPS of sorts. By inputting your start and end location, your route will be calculated, taking into account buses, trains, transfers, and turns, and always getting you there as quickly as possible.
- World Customs and Cultures – Did you know that in Japan it’s considered rude to turn down a drink, even if your glass is full? Down that sucker and hold your glass out for a refill or run the risk of seriously pissing off your host! The World Customs and Cultures app will help you bridge cultural gaps and avoid the many pitfalls of international business negotiations.
Typically business travel has turned into nothing less than a chore. Just clearing airport security is a onerous and oftentimes humbling experience. Gone are the days that employees competed for a chance to fly for the firm, but if you use the right programs an iPhone can do a great deal to ease the frustration of your vital business travel.
About the Author
Brian O’Connell is the owner and founder of CPA Site Solutions, one of the country’s most successful website design businesses dedicated solely to <a href=”http://www.cpasitesolutions.com”>CPA sites</a>. His company currently provides websites for more than 4000 CPA, accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation firms.